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Tenacious D on the Impact of Nirvana and Their Kinship with “Best Drummer Alive” Dave Grohl

"We didn't even want to ask him to play drums for us ... because it just seemed too stupid a question"

Jack Black, Dave Grohl, and Kyle Gass (photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
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    Tenacious D have a long history with Dave Grohl, who has played drums on all of their studio albums. With the duo’s 2001 self-titled debut turning 20 years old on September 25th, the day after Nirvana’s Nevermind celebrated its 30th anniversary, Tenacious D’s Jack Black and Kyle Gass chatted with Heavy Consequence about the impact of Nirvana and their friendship with Dave Grohl.

    Of course, both Nevermind and Tenacious D’s eponymous debut are the stuff of legend, but which album had the bigger impact on rock music? “Without a doubt, Nirvana,” Gass generously answered when we raised that very question in the video above. “I remember, that thing exploded like an atom bomb.”

    Added Black, “Nirvana simultaneously created a genre and destroyed a genre with one powerful album. … We’re gonna humbly give the trophy to Nirvana.”

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    Black went on to talk about being “heavily influenced by Nirvana,” and catching one of their gigs in San Francisco in 1991. “It was the best concert I ever saw … And little did I know 10 years later, we would be rocking with that drummer.”

    As far as collaborating with Grohl, Gass remarked, “I’ve never gotten over it. I still can’t believe that we got him on our very first record, and that he rocked on all our songs. … And then he would play on all the rest of [our] albums, so it’s almost surreal. It’s hard to process.”

    Black returned to the moment he saw Nirvana in 1991, thinking to himself, “Who’s that drummer … there’s no question, he’s the best drummer alive right now,” adding, “The f**king thunder that came out of his kit was second to none.”

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    Remembering Tenacious D’s first interaction with Grohl, Black recalled, “He f**kin’ somehow popped his head through the curtain when we were playing the Viper Room in the early ’90s and said, ‘Hey, I heard you guys were great. Looking forward to checking you guys out. Have a good show tonight!'”

    Tenacious D didn’t think it was even possible to get Grohl to play on their album, with Black admitting, “We didn’t even want to ask him to play drums for us on that first album, because it just seemed too stupid a question. But [producers] the Dust Brothers actually convinced us, [saying], “Are you f**kin’ crazy? He said he liked you? You’re going to try to get him on the album!”

    Watch Kyle Gass and Jack Black discuss Nirvana and Dave Grohl in the video interview above. Pick up Tenacious D’s “20th Anniversary Super Power Party Pack” — including a CD reissue of the Tribute EP, a cassette of the band’s 1995 demo, and a replica 1995 show flyer signed by Black and Gass — at the band’s official webstore for the incredibly reasonable price of $20.

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    As for Dave Grohl, you can catch him on tour with Foo Fighters, with tickets available here, and pick up his new book, The Storyteller, at this location.

    Trouble viewing the video above? Watch on YouTube?

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